Textile artist Rita Parniczky is thoroughly trained in the fine arts. In her native Hungary, she studied porcelain painting before moving to London and receiving an Arts Foundation fellowship and earning admission to Central Saint Martins.
Throughout these programs, Parniczky gravitated toward materials at their most elementary. She wanted to assemble the clothes, not sketch them–and she wanted to see between their threads. This interest in the skeleton of things would become her central focus: the journey into a cohesive artistic practice began with a single yarn.
Now, Parniczky is known for her semi-translucent ‘X-Ray’ tapestries. Using clear nylon monofilament and a technique she developed while still at Central Saint Martins, Parniczky creates textiles that lay their own weave bare once backlit.
Working with high profile clients like the Victoria & Albert museum, the designer uses her drawing background to create detailed patterns of the textiles to come. Although, she explains, ‘it’s important to let some things happen on the loom.’
At Design Days Dubai 2016, she exhibited one piece of her three-part X-Ray Vault Series II and another piece from the X-Ray Crystal Series through the UK's Craft Council. In her ‘X-Ray Vault Series,’ Parniczky was inspired by the fan vaulting seen in Gothic cathedrals. Memories of her childhood countryside give her a nuanced understanding of shadow and light. In her work, one sees the eye of both an architect and a cartographer.
And yet, Parniczky is most like a surgeon, performing operations in reverse. The more complete her works, the more she answers her motivating question: ‘what is happening underneath the surface?’
Parniczky is working on making her own process more visible. For years, she has experimented with x-ray-like photograms– silhouettes of exposed objects created in a darkroom. After winning the 2016 Perrier-Jouët Arts Salon Prize, Parniczky will present her first solo exhibition: ‘Weaving with Light’ at Contemporary Applied Arts 24th June– 30th July. She will also exhibit her photograms for the first time.
‘[The photograms] shouldn’t be locked away in a sketchbook,’ Parniczky says, ‘They are art in and of themselves.’